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The 'Claw' Style for Open A and D Positions
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The 'Claw' Style for Open A and D Positions

This technique, made famous by many great players but most notably Jerry Reed, is usually created by using a thumb pick and fingers, or the hybrid “pick and finger” style. It’s basically a “grabbing” type action of the open positions, hence the “claw” name.

Open A and D are the most effective positions, but you’ll see that these positions can be switched all over the neck when you want to. As a means of helping you understand this style, I will teach a cool tune of mine entitled “Let it Slide” that I recorded with the great Dobro player Jerry Douglas on my 1993 Nashville album, Toolin’ Around.

The rhythm guitar part of this piece has a distinctive “claw” approach that really illustrates some of the best of the physical as well as the melodic possibilities of this technique. Hope you enjoy!—Arlen Roth

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Arlen Roth
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Arlen Roth

Music lesson pioneer Arlen Roth is the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar. Read More...

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